New York State

People who know about such things believe that Native Americans came to the area now called New York about thousands of years ago. Their descendants included Native American tribes such as the Mohawk, Algonquin, Cayuga, Oneida, and Seneca nations.

In 1624 the Dutch established a colony on what is now Manhattan Island. They called it New Amsterdam, but it was renamed New York once the British took control of the area in 1664.

After the American Revolution in 1776, New York became a colony, then it became the 11th state in 1788. One year later, George Washington was sworn in as the United States’ first president in New York City, then the country’s capital.

It’s a Great Place to Visit

New York State is home to some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, including the statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls, which borders New York and Canada.

Speaking of Niagara Falls, it’s worth noting that about 750,000 gallons of water crash down over ing down every second. You can even sail close enough to the falls to get soaked on a boat tour.

Upstate New York is where the state’s capital, Albany, is located. The northern part of the state is known for its scenic mountains and lakes. But, the state is of course best known for bustling New York City, which is considered one of the greatest cities in the world. Other big cities in the state include Buffalo, Syracuse, and Yonkers.

New York is known as the “Empire State” due to its growth and prosperity during its early history. And, the state has continued to grow, so it’s still worthy of its nickname. In fact,  if New York State were an independent country it would rank as the 10th largest economy in the world. That’s a big economy for an amazing state.

The Largest Cities in New York State Are:

  • New York City
  • Buffalo
  • Rochester
  • Yonkers
  • Syracuse

And the Capital of New York State Is…

  • Albany
More Fun Facts

Fact #1New York State is the fourth most populous state in the United States after California, Texas, and Florida. Of its population of 19 million, over 8 million live in New York City alone

Fact #2Lake Placid, New York is the only place in the United States to have hosted the Winter Olympics twice, first in 1932 and again in 1980.

Fact #3New York State has over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams. 

Fact #4New York is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.

Fact #5New York was named after the British Duke of York. Many experts believe it’s nicknamed the Empire State because George Washington called New York, and I quote, “the seat of the Empire.”

Q and A
Just for fun, see if you can answer these questions.
What is the capital of New York State? Is it Buffalo, New York City, Yonkers, Albany, or Syracuse?

Albany is the capital of New York.

How many gallons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second? Is is 750 gallons, 75,000 gallons, or 750,000 gallons?

Approximately 750,000 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second.

What is New York's nickname?

It’s called the Empire State.

When the Dutch arrived in the area we know as New York, what did they call it?

They called it New Amsterdam.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Idea #1: You can write a brief story about some of the cool things you learned about New York Stae.


Idea #2: Imagine you were riding on a tour boat that took you near enough to Niagara Falls to feel the spray. What would it be like? How do you think you might feel as the water sprayed in your face?

To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle

Here's a riddle for you:

What's the tallest building in Albany, New York?

The library: it has the most stories.

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For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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